Sen. Brown distances himself from Romney remarks
BOSTON (AP) -- GOP U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is distancing himself from comments made by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who said 47 percent of the country believes they are "victims" entitled to help from the government.
Brown said that’s not the way he views the world.
"As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in," Brown said in a statement Tuesday. "Too many people today who want to work are being forced into public assistance for lack of jobs."
Brown, who supports Rom ney’s campaign for president, said one reason he’s fighting for job-creating policies is to help turn the economy around and help some of the 47 million people receiving food stamps find work.
Brown’s Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, said Romney doesn’t seem to understand the millions of people who are working hard and trying to provide for their families.
"Romney is writing off seniors, veterans, high school and college students, people who are working part-time because they can’t find full-time work, people who are working full-time at low wages," Warren told the Associated Press. "It’s breathtaking. Mitt Romney treats all these people as deadbeats."
Brown and Warren were reacting to comments captured on a newly released videotape of Romney’s private remarks to wealthy donors at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., on May 17.
On the tape, Romney says there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for Democratic President Barack Obama "no matter what."
"There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it," Romney said.
At an impromptu news conference Monday night, Romney conceded the comments were not "elegantly stated" and were spoken "off the cuff," but he said he stood by them.
Brown, who calls himself one of the most bipartisan members of the Senate, said the difficulty facing people who want to work is one reason why he’s fighting against what he calls Warren’s job-killing policies.
Brown said Warren’s support for higher taxes will cost thousands of jobs in Massachusetts.
Warren declined to fault Brown directly, but she said Romney’s comments show that Republicans and Democrats have very different views about how to rebuild the nation’s economy.
"Republicans believe that the way to build for the future is to cut regulations ... and let everyone else pick up the pieces," Warren said. "Democrats believe the way to grow an economy is from the bottom up and from the middle out."
Warren is stepping up her criticism of Brown in a new television ad.
In the 60-second spot unveiled Tuesday, Warren says Brown isn’t "a bad guy" but criticizes him for voting against a series of Democratic bills she said would help create jobs. She also faults Brown for siding with oil companies and voting against making millionaires pay the same tax rate as middle-class families.
Brown has defended his votes, saying he’s opposed to raising taxes when the economy is struggling. He said putting more pressure on oil companies could increase gasoline prices for drivers.
Brown has also released a new 30-second television ad geared to appeal to female voters. The ad features a series of women offering testimonials for Brown, saying he supports abortion rights and will work to make life better for families.
A new poll shows the race remains tight.
The Suffolk University and WHDH-TV poll released Monday shows Warren is the choice of 48 percent of likely general election voters in Massachusetts compared to 44 percent for Brown. That’s within the poll’s margin of error.
The two face off in their first debate Thursday.
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